Mahamaham is a Hindu Kumb Mela festival celebrated every 12 years in a town called Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu, India. Hindus consider taking a holy dip at the Mahamaham tank on the day of Mahamaham as sacred. The last Mahamaham was celebrated on March 6, 2004, with people from various places taking the holy dip in the Mahamaham tank.

At a distance of 1 km from Kumbakonam Railway Station, Mahamaham Tank is a huge temple tank located in the heart of Kumbakonam town in Tamil Nadu. It is considered to be the foremost and one of the largest temple tanks in Tamil Nadu.

About Mahamaham Tank:

At a distance of 1 km from Kumbakonam Railway Station, Mahamaham Tank is a huge temple tank located in the heart of Kumbakonam town in Tamil Nadu. It is considered to be the foremost and one of the largest temple tanks in Tamil Nadu.

The tank covers an area of 6.2 acres and is trapezoidal in shape. The tank is surrounded by 16 small Mandapams (shrines) and has 21 wells inside the tank. Govinda Dikshitar, the chieftain of Ragunatha Nayak of Thanjavur, constructed the sixteen Mandapams and stone steps around this tank. Brahmatheerthesar, Mukunthar, Thalesar, Rishakesar, Umaipakesar, Nairuthesar, Brahmeesar, Gangatheerthesar and Seshtra Paleesar, are the names of deities located in these Mandapams.

There are 21 wells inside the tank in the shape of small spring wells. Beginning the eastern side of the tank, there are 8 wells in the name of celestial deities namely Indra, Yama, Agni, Niruthi, Vayuya, Kubera and Isanya respectively. In between the Vayu and Kubera wells, the ninth well is located called Brahma Theertham. Commencing from the north of Vayu Theertham, there are nine wells indicating the holy rivers of India, namely the Ganges, Yamuna, Godavari, Narmada, Saraswathi, Kaveri, Tungabhadra, Krishna and Sarayu.

The 20 theerthams in the Mahaamaham tank:

Indra Theertham – provides moksham
2. Agni Theertham – rids Brahmahatthi dosham
3. Yama Theertham – rids fear of death
4. Nruthi Theertham – rids from fear of evil spirits
5. Varuna Theertham – provides long life
6. Vaayu Theertham – rids diseases
7. Gubera Theertham – provides prosperity
8. Isaana Theertham – moksham (to reach Lord Siva’s feet)
9. Brahma Theertham – pacifies ancestors
10. Gangai Theertham – provides Kailasa padavi
11. Yamuna Theertham – provides wealth
12. Godavari Theertham – fulfills wishes 13. Narmada Theertham – provides physical strength
14. Saraswathi Theertham – provides Gnaanam (enlightenment)
15. Cauveri Theertham – provides knowledge
16. Kumari Theertham – blessings to pets
17. Payodini Theertham – provides joy
18. Sarayu Theertham – removes mental strain
19. Arubathaaru(66)kodi Theertham – removes grief & provides hapiness
20. Deva Theertham / Naaga Theertham – rids of all sins & provides Devendra’s post /
rids of Kaala Sarpa dosham

Masimaham is an annual event that occurs in the Tamil month of Masi (February-March) in the star of Magam. Once in twelve years, when the planet Guru (Jupiter) enters Simha (Leo) sign, the Kumbh mela festival is celebrated at Mahamaham tank. 12 Shiva temples and 5 Vishnu temples are connected with this festival. They are Kasi Viswanathar Temple, Kumbeswarar Temple, Nageswara Temple, Someswarar Temple, Koteeswarar Temple, Kalahasteeswarar Temple, Gowthameswarar Temple, Amirthakalasanathar Temple, Banapuriswarar Temple, Abimukeswarar Temple, Kambatta Visvanathar Temple and Ekambareswarar Temple. Of them 10 temples are in Kumbakonam. The Vishnu temples are Sarangapani Temple, Chakrapani Temple, Ramaswamy Temple, Rajagopalaswamy Temple, and Varahaperumal Temple. The processional deities of these temples come to this tank during festival days and at noon, all the deities bathe along with the devotees – it is called Theerthavari. The temple cars of major temples in Kumbakonam come around the city on the festival night.

During the time of Mahamaham festival, it is also believed that taking bath in the holy stream of water from the famous rivers are mixed together in Mahamaham tank, would get rid of sins according to Hindu religion. During this festival, thousands of Hindu devotees come to Kumbakonam and take bath in Mahamaham tank.

It is believed that when the earth was transformed from one planet to other, the samples of all the living beings are collected in a ” Kumbaham” meaning a pot in tamil. When the same slipped over the earth , it fell on the place where the Mahamaham tank is located. When the pot fell down and toppeled, the living beings are created in earth. Hence the name of the place “Kumbakonam” meaning “Pot Toppled” in Tamil.
There are three famous temple in kumbakonam from where the idols are prayed. These temples include the ” Abimuhadeeswara Temple” , ” Kasi Viswanathar Temple” and ” Kumbeshwara Temple”.

On the Mahamaham day people start with praying these shivan temples and start dips in the 20 wells and go to kumbeswarar Temple and dip in the holy tank and finally in kaveri river to complete the process .
On the occasion of the festival, Metal idols of the deities of the main temples of Kumbakonam is carried on palanquins or chariots and taken around the different streets of the town.

Temple Opening Time:

This temple is open from 6 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on all days. The temple remains open
in the morning from 6.00 AM to 12:30 PM and in the evening from 4.00 PM to 8.00 PM.


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